retirement

Social Security benefits and same-sex marriage

The social impact
The social impact © Chris Howey/Shutterstock.com

"There are still some gray areas that need some clarification," Rae says. "But striking down DOMA is a huge step in the right direction."

The Williams Institute, a think tank at the University of California, Los Angeles School of Law, estimates that there are approximately 650,000 same-sex couples in the U.S. today -- including 114,100 legally married and 108,600 in civil unions or registered domestic partnerships. Now that Section 3 of DOMA was repealed, "114,100 additional couples will be eligible for the range of safety-net programs and benefits that fall under Social Security's umbrella," says Burns.

Since Social Security currently serves more than 56 million Americans, "This would hardly impact the financial standing of the Social Security program," he says. "More importantly, social insurance programs like Social Security are an ultimate net gain to the economy by keeping people out of poverty, protecting against the vicissitudes of health, old age and disability."

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